Personal Injury in Washington
Personal Injury in Washington
We all know that accidents happen. However, if you are injured by another party’s negligent actions, you can and should hold that party liable for your injury-related costs.
What types of accidents can result in a personal injury claim?
Any injury caused by another party’s negligence can give rise to a personal injury claim. Some of the most common accidents include:
- Auto accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall injuries
- Dog bites
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
Do I have a valid personal injury claim?
To have a valid personal injury claim, you must prove the other party was negligent. For a person to be negligent, you must establish the following:
- The person must have had a duty of care
- He must have breached that duty of care
- The breach must have directly caused harm
What is a duty of care?
A duty of care is a legal duty to another party. For example, a driver has a duty of care to pay attention to the road, drive cautiously, and follow the safety and traffic laws.
How does a person breach the duty of care?
If a driver is intoxicated or speeding or texting while driving, that driver has breached the duty of care. It is important to note that breaching the duty of care by itself does not give rise to a personal injury claim. If a person is driving drunk, but gets home safely without causing any harm to anyone, there is no personal injury claim.
How can a breach of duty directly cause harm?
If the drunk driver hits a pedestrian on his way home from the bar, his breach of duty has caused direct harm.
What if I contributed to the accident? Can I still recover compensation?
Yes. Washington State follows a pure comparative negligence law. This means if a person is injured, his own negligence will reduce the amount of damages he receives, but it will not bar him from recovery.
For example, John and Tim were both injured in an accident. John was speeding and was 35 percent at fault. Tim ran a red light and was 65 percent at fault. They each have $10,000 in damages. Because their respective negligence reduces the compensation they are entitled to, John would receive $6,500 (65 percent) in damages from Tim, while Tim would receive $3,500 (35 percent) in damages from John.
How do I get started with my Washington State personal injury claim?
In order to file a personal injury claim in Washington State, you must first determine who is at fault. Once you have determined fault, you must have evidence to support every part of your claim. All the following evidence can be essential to proving liability as well as your injuries:
- Medical records
- Police report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical bills
- Paystubs and W-2s
While this might seem simple, there are dozens of moving parts. A single misstep along the way in this complex process can cost you real dollars.
A Washington personal injury lawyer will handle these difficult tasks for you, and will deal directly with the insurance company for you. Your lawyer will also negotiate with the claims adjuster and review the settlement documents to determine it is enough to cover your injury-related damages.
And, a Washington State personal injury lawyer will do this all with no upfront costs from you. A personal injury lawyer only gets paid if you get paid. Call today to set up a free consultation: 206-388-2211.